Yesterday, I walked from my car to church. The main street in uptown Charlotte is called Tryon Street. From my car to the church which was only several blocks I must have passed at least fifteen what appear to be very poor men sitting on benches, drinking beer or chatting with a buddy. Unless it is raining they are there every Sunday morning.
It reminded me of my first day at the Dept. of Justice. On that day it was freezing cold, but sleeping under tents of blankets on top of every steam tunnel exhaust vent were homeless men and women. I asked about them to the man showing me around, and he asked if I wanted them moved. “They will be back,” he said, “even if I make them leave.” Surprised that someone thought I had the authority to have them moved, it took me a minute to reply. Then I told him, “no don’t ask them to move.” Thinking to myself they’re a good reminder of why we’re here.” I thought of that first day yesterday as I sat quietly in the church waiting for the service to begin.
I listened to the new rector’s sermon still thinking about the men on the street, when the rector said, “There is nothing in the Bible about the poor coming to church, but there is a lot in the Bible about us going to them.” The words ‘feed the poor,” came to my mind. This mule had been hit between the eyes with a spiritual two by four. I thought about the rector’s words a lot, my two block journey to church, and I thought I should at least pass it on.
Where do you see reminders of what we are here to do?
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